Sunday, February 17, 2013

Turning a frown upside down

Mechanical Steed
Traversing life's adventures
Happiness is found
-haiku by Nathan Vergin

My feet are ice blocks
My torso is drenched in sweat
Ah, winter biking!
-haiku by me

Wednesday morning I decided to stop sulking and feeling sorry for myself.  Yep, it's cold, icy and windy.  What did I expect?  I live in Wisconsin.  Each winter I hit a point when I'm fed up with riding indoors and become willing to venture outside on longer rides, other than my commutes.  This year, that point came a mere eight sessions on the indoor trainer season.  Let me be clear.  I understand the benefits of riding inside, but I HATE it.  When I can no longer rally myself, even with the best music, I know it's time to layer up and roll out.  I am aware I do have two--make that three choices.  I could a) sit around eating and drinking all winter until I'm so round I don't need a bike to roll  b) actually get back into running, cross country skiing or speed skating or c) say "fuck it" and just ride outside no matter what the conditions are.  I chose "c".

My previous post was on Wednesdays ride.  If you're really bored, you can read it.  I must say, however, the Wednesday ride set me straight.  Several sections of the road were horrible, but I still had fun, and at no point did I want to hold a gun to my head--the way I often feel while riding inside.  Go figure.

The Cat Whisperer, Erin Shenanigans and Cabby at One Barrel
Thursday brought a "love your bike ride" for Valentine's day.  It was supposed to be a large ride for Madison Bike Winter's bike-to-work-week, however, we joked that only the "cool kids" came out--me and three of my riding friends.  A quick loop around lake Monona brought us to Glass Nickel for pizza and then One Barrel for beer.  The four of us sat around listening to a loop of Tom Jones, Neil Diamond and Barry White, trying to drown the music out with more beer.

This is what happens when you drink
on Valentine's day.  

I woke Friday early, almost giddy, since I had the time to spin down to my riding group's coffee clutch gathering.  A beautiful sunrise over Monona bay greeted me and a leisurely ride back with a good friend was the icing on the cake.
Church Coffee Clutch

Friday evening was round two.  Another beautiful ride to Cronometro for the winter-bike-to-week party. Thanks to Scott, we had a nice open space with pretty bikes all around and Bike Benefits supplied us with beer from Great Dane.  I always like these gatherings since it's a time to chat with friends and make new ones.  Come late winter, planning for upcoming rides always sparks me to keep going.

End of the week party at Cronometro

Thumbs up to Fyxation for being a prize sponsor

Saturday found me riding to the East side once again to meet a friend for lunch and a trip to Olbrich Botanical Gardens.  Being a chilly eight degrees for my morning commute made both well deserved.  With my insides warm from good food and an 80 degree room, I had a smile on my face the entire ride home.

All in all, I logged about 115 miles on my knobbies in four days.  Not huge miles but all enjoyable.  Each time I considered driving someplace, the thought was fleeting.  I thank all my friends for providing me with great destinations to ride to this week.  Now if you can just keep that carrot out in front of me, I may become a winter biking convert.

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